Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/91543
Authors: 
Leicester, Andrew
Levell, Peter
Year of Publication: 
2013
Series/Report no.: 
IFS Working Papers W13/13
Abstract: 
Anti-smoking policies can in theory make smokers better off, by helping smokers with time-inconsistent preferences commit to giving up or reducing the amount they smoke. We use almost 20 years of British individual-level panel data to explore the impact on self-reported psychological well-being of two policy interventions: large real-terms increases in tobacco excise taxes and bans on smoking in public places. We use a difference-in-differences approach to compare the effects on well-being for smokers and non-smokers. Smoking behaviour is likely to be influenced by policy interventions, leading to a selection problem if outcomes are compared across current smokers and non-smokers. We consider different ways of grouping individuals into 'treatment' and 'control' groups based on demographic characteristics and observed smoking histories. We find fairly robust evidence that increases in tobacco taxes raise the relative well-being of likely smokers. Exploiting regional variation in the timing of the smoking ban across British regions, we also find some evidence that it raised smoker well-being, though the effect is not robust to the measure of well-being. The economic significance of the effects also appears to be quite modest. Our findings therefore give cautious support to the view that such interventions are at least partly justifiablebecause of the benefits they have for smokers themselves.
Subjects: 
Smoking
taxation
happiness
well-being
time inconsistency
commitment
JEL: 
D03
D12
H23
H31
Persistent Identifier of the first edition: 
Document Type: 
Working Paper

Files in This Item:
File
Size
581.76 kB





Items in EconStor are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.